Timmons wants to hear from his readers . . . all 8 or 9
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 4:00 AM
Notes scribbled on the back of Mssrs. Strunk and White’s paperback . . .
It’s a different time in ye olde newspaper world. The common wisdom is that we are a dying sort, going ever-so-quickly the way of the dinosaur.
The newspaper industry is very much like the dinosaurs. Blame it on an asteroid or bad carry-out, something drastically impacted the big guys and away they went . . . and went . . . and went . . .
until now when you can look all around and see dinosaurs everywhere.
They’re called birds.
Just like the dinosaurs evolved, so it goes with newspapers. Truth to tell, us folks at the little newspaper that could started out with a handful of readers in print. In those early days we had less than 1,000 papers being sold. But slowly, we grew. Some of that growth came in print but the vast, vast majority of our numbers are now digital. More people are reading our paper online than used to read the Lafayette Journal & Courier a couple of centuries ago when yours truly was lugging copy around the sports department for legends like Bruce Ramey, Tom Kubat, Bob Scott and Jeff Washburn.
Today we have readership that goes way beyond any projections I ever had for our enterprise. Last month, for example, we had well more than 50,000 folks reading us . . . and some of them even read my scribblings (go figure!). Less than 10,000 of them got the wood pulp version though.
For an old guy who not only loves to physically hold a newspaper but loves everything about it, that’s tough. Really tough. Like Robert Duvall, I love the smell of newsprint in the morning . . . or something like that.
Anyways, not one to be called an old fuddy-duddy – which is really true since kids today wouldn’t know a fuddy-duddy if it hit ‘em upside the iphone – we’re always looking to stay on that cutting edge of innovation.
Which brings me to the point of today’s ramblings, dear reader. Do you want a printed newspaper, or are you one of the thousands who prefer it on your phone, your ipod or whatever device you have that I don’t? (OK, OK, I’ve got a phone, flip variety.) It’s my hope that 48,000 of you say you want it in print and I can tell all the young’uns around here to stuff it (literally, we stuff inserts into printed papers, you know). Or, if most of you want it in your e-mail at 4 a.m. every morning, then aforementioned young’uns will tell me to . . . well, let’s just say they’ll tell me.
And lest ye fret, if you want a printed paper, then by gummy you shall have one. We’re not about to stop printing. I’m just an old guy trying to figure out the best way to do business in a young world.
So I’m asking. What’s your preference Montgomery County? Print or electronic? (Or is it digital? I dunno.) Do you want our paper in your U.S. Mail six days a week (or would you prefer five)? Let me know if you don’t mind please. You can e-mail me, U.S. Mail me, call me (361-0100, ext. 22), stop me at Bill’s barbershop, chase me down on Sugar Creek Trail (trust me, you won’t have to go far or fast), stop by the World-Wide HQ, holler at me on the street . . . whatever strikes your fancy.
And while we’re at it, let me know how many days a week you want The Paper, and, if Monday or Tuesday matters to you.
You can call us a dinosaur if you want. And like I said, the young’uns in the biz have definitely evolved into birds that soar all the way into the heavens. Me? OK, the big, lumbering brontosaurus might be accurate after all.
Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at email@example.com.